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So many thanks...

November 28, 2009 - Chris Masse

Growing up I used to look to my favorite professional athletes when it came to role models.

As I grew older, I soon realized that was not the place to be searching for positive role models. I learned I need not look far to understand I was surrounded by them.

When I first came to this area 10 years ago, however,  I was basically surrounded by nobody. For a quiet person who does not easily reveal himself I was kind of lost and lonely.

That being so, I could not express enough gratitude to Karen Steinbacher and her family when they opened up their home to me shortly after I became friends with their oldest daugher Aimee in 2000. Even after I let me my overzealous competitive streak overtake me and I acted like a clown while playing basketball on that year's Thanksgiving, the Steinbacher's opened up the home and kitchen to me and I was treated to a wonderful dinner. The scene was repeated several times over the next year and it meant more to me than words could ever express.

It was a kind gesture each time and every time I went to the Steinbacher's I was guaranteed to take some good-natured--and well-deserved ribbing. Always in my corner, though, was Karen. She always had my back and always had something nice to say. I always had the feeling that Karen was the kind of person who could brighten up any room she was in and who could make anyone she came in contact with feel special.

That is a special quality and she was a special person.

After getting married in 2002, I, unfortunately, never made it back to the Steinbacher's but I never forgot the kindness Karen and her family showed me and that is why I was especially saddened when I learned of Karen's passing late last week.

The world lost a wonderful person, but in my eyes, Heaven welcomed a saint because Karen Steinbacher was the kind of person everyone should have the pleasure of knowing. She was that every-day role model that everybody could look up to and the proof was not only in her actions, but in the actions of the five children she raised so well.

Kind, generous, warm and loving--Karen Steinbacher had the total package and even though I had not seen her in years I know I will miss her greatly.



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